Michael Ranta

Michael Ranta

Department of Cultural Sciences Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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Ph.D. 2000, Associate Professor 2017 in Art History (Stockholm University, Sweden)



Various teaching commissions at Stockholm university, Konstfackskolan (Stockholm), Sichuan University (Chengdu, China).


The working title of my ongoing research approach is "The Representation of Action and Time in the Visual Arts".

A central issue concerns the capacity of pictorial representations to render various forms of narratives and temporal structures. Which role play in this context mental and typifying (categorizing) ideas on behalf of beholders with regard to various conceivable action sequences? And how can pictorial representations imply or presuppose wider world views or meta-narratives? These issues will be investigated from an interdisciplinary perspective (especially from art history, philosophy, semiotics, narratology, cognitive psychology, and anthropology) and related to concrete art historical and archaeological material.


2010 -2019 I have been employed as a researcher at the "Center for Semiotic Studies", Lund University.

2014 - 2016 I have been involved in the interdisciplinary research project "The Making of Them and Us: Cultural Encounters Conveyed Through Pictorial Narrative", funded by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Memorial Foundation (Lund University).

2017 - 2019 I have participated in the project "Storytelling in Rock Art", funded by the Swedish Research Council (Lund University / Linnaeus University).

2022 - 2024 I will participate in the project "From Shapes to Action (SHACT) - The Narrative Turn in Prehistoric Image-Making in Northern Europe", funded by the Swedish Research Council (Linnaeus University).

2018 - 2024: Visiting professor at Sichuan University (Chengdu, China).


Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)

Book (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Article in journal (Refereed)

Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))

Article, book review (Other academic)

Conference paper (Other academic)